updated 4/15/2005 9:17:13 AM ET 2005-04-15T13:17:13

Reckless driving by speed-hungry motorists in this Gulf state is responsible for one of the world’s highest levels of traffic deaths and injuries. On Friday, IBM Corp. said the government has hired it to design a traffic monitoring system that officials hope can reduce such wrecks.

International Business Machines Corp. announced a four-year, $125 million deal with the United Arab Emirates to design a custom traffic management system for the country, which has grown at a blistering pace over the past few years.

IBM says the deal will provide authorities with capabilities to monitor dangerous driving and respond to emergencies.

The monitoring system is based on a computerized device, similar to the so-called black box found in airplanes, that will be installed tens of thousands of vehicles starting next year, IBM said.

When a car goes above the speed limit, the device gives the driver a warning and sends authorities data on the route the car is taking. The device uses a combination of microprocessors, advanced global positioning satellite tracking and other wireless communications to capture, analyze and deliver data by a wireless network.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether authorities in the Emirates would make installing the device compulsory. Officials were not immediately available for comment.

IBM said the Emirates’ 2 million drivers are responsible for one of the worst traffic safety records in the world. According to government traffic studies IBM quoted, one person is injured every two hours, and one person dies approximately every 15 hours on the Emirates’ roads.

Government officials were not able to confirm the figures Thursday, but driving here has become a hair-raising experience, due to aggressive driving and speeding. In Dubai, extensive construction has aggravated the problem, sending thousands of heavy trucks onto already jammed roads.

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